Final Safety Culture Policy Statement, 34773-34778 [2011-14656]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 114 / Tuesday, June 14, 2011 / Notices srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES household income for New York was $55,401, while 10.5 percent of families and 13.8 percent of the state population were determined to be living below the Federal poverty threshold. Schenectady County had the same median household income average ($55,421) and a lower percent of families (6.7 percent) and a similar percentage of individuals (10.8 percent) living below the poverty level, respectively. Impact Analysis—Potential impacts to minority and low-income populations would mostly consist of radiological effects, however radiation doses from continued operations associated with the license renewal are expected to continue at current levels, and would be well below regulatory limits. Minority and low-income populations are subsets of the general public residing around the RCF, and all are exposed to the same health and environmental effects generated from activities at the RCF. Based on this information and the analysis of human health and environmental impacts presented in this environmental assessment, the license renewal would not have disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects on minority and low-income populations residing in the vicinity of the RCF. Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action As an alternative to license renewal, the NRC staff considered denial of the proposed action. If the Commission denied the application for license renewal, facility operations would end and decommissioning would be required. The NRC staff notes that, even with a renewed license, the RCF will eventually be decommissioned, at which time the environmental effects of decommissioning will occur. Decommissioning would be conducted in accordance with an NRC-approved decommissioning plan, which would require a separate environmental review under 10 CFR 51.21. Cessation of reactor operations would reduce or eliminate radioactive effluents and emissions. However, as previously discussed in this environmental assessment, radioactive effluents and emissions from reactor operations constitute a small fraction of the applicable regulatory limits, and are often below detectable levels. Therefore, the environmental impacts of license renewal and the denial of the request for license renewal would be similar. In addition, denying the request for license renewal would eliminate the benefits of teaching, research, and services provided by the RCF. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:27 Jun 13, 2011 Jkt 223001 Alternative Use of Resources The proposed action does not involve the use of any different resources or significant quantities of resources beyond those previously considered in the issuance of Amendment No. 5 to Facility Operating License No. CX–22, dated December, 1983, which renewed the license for a period of twenty years, or the issuance of Amendment No. 7 dated July 7, 1987, which ordered RPI to convert the reactor to use lowenriched uranium fuel. Agencies and Persons Consulted In accordance with the agency’s stated policy, on September 4, 2008, the NRC staff consulted with the State Liaison Officer regarding the environmental impact of the proposed action. The State official had no comments regarding the proposed action. The NRC staff also consulted with the SHPO regarding the potential impact of the proposed action on historic resources. As previously mentioned, the SHPO determined that license renewal would have no adverse effect on historic properties in the vicinity of the RCF. Finding of No Significant Impact On the basis of the environmental assessment, the NRC concludes that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the NRC has determined not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed action. For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the licensee’s letter dated November 19, 2002 (ML023380455 and ML072210835), as supplemented on July 21 (ML082060048), July 28 (ML082190523), and September 3, 2008 (ML101260200); June 28 (ML101820298), August 31 (ML102790045 and ML102720039), October 14 (ML103070074), and October 28, 2010 (ML103080207); and February 14 (ML110490531) and May 9, 2011 (ML11131A180). Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the NRC Web site http://www.nrc.gov/readingrm/adams.html. Persons who do not have access to ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS should contact the NRC PDR Reference staff at PO 00000 Frm 00135 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 34773 1–800–397–4209, or 301–415–4737, or send an e-mail to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of June, 2011. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Jessie Quichocho, Chief, Research and Test Reactors Licensing Branch, Division of Policy and Rulemaking, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2011–14665 Filed 6–13–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2010–0282] Final Safety Culture Policy Statement Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Issuance of final safety culture policy statement. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) is issuing this Statement of Policy to set forth its expectation that individuals and organizations performing or overseeing regulated activities establish and maintain a positive safety culture commensurate with the safety and security significance of their activities and the nature and complexity of their organizations and functions. The Commission defines Nuclear Safety Culture as the core values and behaviors resulting from a collective commitment by leaders and individuals to emphasize safety over competing goals to ensure protection of people and the environment. This policy statement applies to all licensees, certificate holders, permit holders, authorization holders, holders of quality assurance program approvals, vendors and suppliers of safety-related components, and applicants for a license, certificate, permit, authorization, or quality assurance program approval, subject to NRC authority. DATES: This policy statement becomes effective upon publication in the Federal Register. ADDRESSES: You can access publicly available documents related to this document using the following methods: • NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR): The public may examine and have copied, for a fee, publicly available documents at the NRC’s PDR, Room O1– F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC are SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\14JNN1.SGM 14JNN1 34774 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 114 / Tuesday, June 14, 2011 / Notices available online in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ adams.html. From this page, the public can gain entry into ADAMS, which provides text and image files of the NRC’s public documents. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC’s PDR reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301–415–4737, or by e-mail to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. • Federal rulemaking Web site: Public comments and supporting materials related to this document can be found at http://www.regulations.gov by searching on Docket ID NRC–2010– 0282. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher, telephone: 301–492–3668; e-mail: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. Roy P. Zimmerman, Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001; telephone: 301–415–2741; e-mail: Roy.Zimmerman@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: I. Background srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES A. Previous Policy Statements and Events Involving Safety Culture The NRC has long recognized the importance of a safety-first focus in nuclear work environments for public health and safety. The Commission’s emphasis on a safety-first focus is reflected in two previously published NRC policy statements. The 1989, ‘‘Policy Statement on the Conduct of Nuclear Power Plant Operations’’ (54 FR 3424; January 24, 1989), applies to all individuals engaged in activities that affect the safety of nuclear power plants, and provides the Commission’s expectations of utility management and licensed operators with respect to the conduct of operations. The 1996, ‘‘Freedom of Employees in the Nuclear Industry to Raise Safety Concerns Without Fear of Retaliation’’ (61 FR 24336; May 14, 1996), applies to the regulated activities of all NRC licensees and their contractors and subcontractors, and provides the Commission’s expectations that licensees and other employers subject to NRC authority establish and maintain safety-conscious work environments in which employees feel free to raise safety concerns, both to their management and to the NRC, without fear of retaliation. This Safety Culture Statement of Policy, in conjunction with the previous policy statements, is intended to emphasize the importance the NRC places on the development and maintenance of a VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:27 Jun 13, 2011 Jkt 223001 positive safety culture for all regulated activities. The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986, brought attention to the importance of safety culture and the impact that weaknesses in safety culture can have on safety performance. Since then, the importance of a positive safety culture has been demonstrated by a number of significant, high-visibility events worldwide. In the United States, incidents involving the civilian uses of radioactive materials have not been confined to a particular type of licensee or certificate holder, as they have occurred at nuclear power plants and fuel cycle facilities and during medical and industrial activities involving regulated materials. Assessments of these incidents revealed that weaknesses in the regulated entities’ safety cultures were an underlying cause of the incidents or increased the severity of the incidents. The causes of these incidents included, for example, inadequate management oversight of process changes, perceived production pressures, lack of a questioning attitude, and poor communications. One such incident indicated the need for additional NRC efforts to evaluate whether the agency should increase its attention to reactor licensees’ safety cultures. This resulted in important changes to the NRC’s Reactor Oversight Process (ROP). Commission paper SECY–06–0122, dated May 24, 2006, (ADAMS Accession No. ML061320282) describes the NRC’s safety culture activities at that time and the outcomes of those activities. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Commission issued orders enhancing security at facilities whose operations, if attacked, could have an impact on public health and safety. During the early years of implementation of these security enhancements, several violations of the Commission’s security requirements were identified in which the licensee’s failure to cultivate a positive safety culture impacted the effectiveness of the licensee’s security program. The most visible of these involved security officers sleeping in a ‘‘ready room’’ while on shift at a nuclear power plant. Most of the weaknesses involved inadequate management oversight of security, lack of a questioning attitude within the security organization, complacency, barriers to raising concerns about security issues, and inadequate training of security personnel. B. Commission Direction In February 2008, the Commission issued Staff Requirements PO 00000 Frm 00136 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Memorandum (SRM), SRM–COMGBJ– 08–0001 (ADAMS Accession No. ML080560476), directing the NRC staff to expand the Commission’s policy on safety culture to address the unique aspects of security and to ensure the resulting policy is applicable to all licensees and certificate holders. The Commission directed the staff to answer several additional questions, including: (1) Whether safety culture as applied to reactors needed to be strengthened; (2) how to increase attention to safety culture in the materials area; (3) how stakeholder involvement can most effectively be used to address safety culture for all NRC and Agreement State licensees and certificate holders, including any unique aspects of security; and (4) whether publishing the NRC’s expectations for safety culture and for security culture would be best accomplished in one safety/security culture statement or in two separate statements while still considering the safety and security interfaces. In response to Commission direction, the NRC staff reviewed domestic and international safety-culture-related documents and considered NRC lessons learned. Additionally, the staff sought insights and feedback from external stakeholders. This was accomplished by providing information in a variety of forums, such as stakeholder organization meetings, newsletters, and teleconferences, and by publishing questions developed to address Commission direction in the February 9, 2009, Federal Register notice (FRN) (74 FR 6433) entitled ‘‘Safety Culture Policy Statement Development: Public Meeting and Request for Public Comments’’ (ADAMS Accession No. ML090260709). In February 2009, the NRC held a public workshop on the ‘‘Development of a Policy Statement on Safety Culture and Security Culture’’ in which a broad range of stakeholders participated, including representatives from the Agreement States (Meeting Summary: ADAMS Accession No. ML090930572). The staff developed draft characteristics (subsequently referred to as ‘‘traits’’) of a positive safety culture and presented them at the workshop. Mindful of the increased attention to the important role of security, the staff also sought input from the workshop participants on whether there should be a single safety culture policy statement or two policy statements addressing safety and security independently while considering the interface of both. Before providing its recommendations to the Commission, the staff developed a draft definition of safety culture in which it modified a definition from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s E:\FR\FM\14JNN1.SGM 14JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 114 / Tuesday, June 14, 2011 / Notices srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES advisory group, the International Nuclear Safety Group, to make it applicable to all NRC-regulated activities and to address security. Based on its review and stakeholder feedback, in SECY–09–0075, ‘‘Safety Culture Policy Statement,’’ dated May 16, 2009 (ADAMS Accession No. ML091130068), the NRC staff provided a single draft safety culture policy statement for Commission approval. The draft policy statement acknowledged the importance of safety and security, and the interface of both, within an overarching culture of safety. Additionally, in response to the Commission’s questions, the staff: (1) Concluded that the NRC’s oversight of safety culture as applied to reactors has been strengthened, is effective, and continues to be refined in accordance with the existing ROP self-assessment process; (2) described actions taken and planned for increasing attention to safety culture in the materials area; and (3) described actions taken and planned for most effectively obtaining stakeholder involvement to address safety culture, including any unique aspects of security, for all NRC and Agreement State licensees and certificate holders. In SRM–SECY–09–0075 (ADAMS Accession No. ML092920099), the Commission directed the staff to: (1) Publish the draft safety culture policy statement for no fewer than 90 days; (2) continue to engage a broad range of stakeholders, including the Agreement States and other organizations with an interest in nuclear safety, to ensure the final policy statement presented to the Commission reflects a broad spectrum of views and provides the necessary foundation for safety culture applicable to the entire nuclear industry; (3) make the necessary adjustments to encompass security within the statement; (4) seek opportunities to comport NRC terminology, where possible, with that of existing standards and references maintained by those that the NRC regulates; and (5) consider incorporating suppliers and vendors of safety-related components in the safety culture policy statement. C. Development of the Final Policy Statement On February 2–4, 2010, the NRC held a second safety culture workshop to provide a venue for interested parties to comment on the draft safety culture policy statement. The additional goal of the workshop was for panelists representing a broad range of stakeholders to reach alignment, using common terminology, on a definition of safety culture and a high-level set of VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:27 Jun 13, 2011 Jkt 223001 traits that describe areas important to a positive safety culture. The workshop panelists represented a wide range of stakeholders regulated by the NRC and/ or the Agreement States, including medical, industrial, and fuel cycle materials users, and nuclear power reactor licensees, as well as the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), and members of the public. The workshop panelists reached alignment with input from the other meeting attendees on a definition of safety culture and a high-level set of traits describing areas important to a positive safety culture. Following the February 2010, workshop, the NRC staff evaluated the public comments that were submitted in response to the November 6, 2009, FRN (74 FR 57525). Additionally, the staff participated on panels and made presentations at various industry forums in order to provide information to stakeholders about the development of the safety culture policy statement and/ or to obtain additional input and to ascertain whether the definition and traits developed at the workshop accurately reflect a broad range of stakeholders’ views. These outreach activities included, for example, participation in a Special Joint Session on Safety Culture at the Health Physics Society Annual Meeting, and presentations on the development of the safety culture policy statement at the Annual Fuel Cycle Information Exchange, the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors’ Annual National Conference on Radiation Control, the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management’s Annual Meeting, the Second NRC Workshop on Vendor Oversight for New Reactors, and the Organization of Agreement States Annual Meeting. In response to Commission direction in SRM–SECY– 09–00075, the staff focused attention on attending meetings involving the Organization of Agreement States and other materials licensees. In July 2010, the NRC held a public teleconference with the panelists who participated in the February 2010, workshop to discuss the status of outreach activities associated with the development of the policy statement. At the July 2010, meeting, the panelists reiterated their support for the definition and traits developed at the February 2010, workshop as a result of their outreach with their industry colleagues. This position aligns with the comments the staff received during the various outreach activities. In September 2010, the staff held an additional teleconference to provide information on the initial results of a PO 00000 Frm 00137 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 34775 validation study conducted by INPO, which was conducted, in part, to see whether and to what extent the factors that came out of INPO’s safety culture survey support the February 2010, workshop traits. The factors support the traits developed at the workshop. Based on its review and stakeholder feedback, the staff published the revised draft safety culture policy statement (ADAMS Accession No. ML102500563) on September 17, 2010 (75 FR 57081), for a 30-day public comment period. Because public comments reflected some misunderstanding regarding the Commission’s use of a policy statement rather than a regulation or rule, the September 2010, FRN provided clarification, pointing out that the Commission may use a policy statement to address matters relating to activities that are within NRC jurisdiction and are of particular interest and importance to the Commission. Policy statements help to guide the activities of the NRC staff and can express the Commission’s expectations of others; however, they are not regulations or rules and are not accorded the status of a regulation or rule within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act. The Agreement States, which are responsible for overseeing their materials licensees, cannot be required to implement the elements of a policy statement because such statements, unlike NRC regulations, are not a matter of compatibility. Additionally, policy statements cannot be considered binding upon, or enforceable against, NRC or Agreement State licensees and certificate holders. This Statement of Policy has been developed to engage individuals and organizations performing regulated activities involving nuclear materials and share the Commission’s expectations regarding the development and maintenance of a positive safety culture. The NRC held a public meeting in September 2010, in the Las Vegas Hearing Facility, Las Vegas, Nevada, which was simultaneously broadcast in the Commission Hearing Room, Rockville, Maryland, and over the internet via Web streaming in order to allow remote participation. The goals of the September 2010, FRN and meeting were to provide additional opportunities for stakeholders to comment on the revised draft policy statement, including the definition and traits developed at the February 2010, workshop, and to discuss the information gathered from the outreach activities that had occurred since the February 2010, workshop. Additionally, a representative from INPO presented E:\FR\FM\14JNN1.SGM 14JNN1 34776 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 114 / Tuesday, June 14, 2011 / Notices information on the validation study INPO conducted as part of INPO’s efforts to help establish a technical basis for the identification and definition of areas important to safety culture. A member of the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research also presented findings related to the oversight of the INPO study. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES II. Public Comments The November 2009, FRN and the September 2010, FRN generated 76 comments from affected stakeholders and members of the public. The staff’s evaluation concluded that many of the comments were statements of agreement on the information included in the draft and revised safety culture policy statements and did not require further action. A few of the commenters raised issues that the staff considered during the development of the policy statement, but ultimately concluded that the issues were either not applicable to the policy statement, for example, that ‘‘by virtue of its all encompassing applicability, the policy must be taken as a strategic utterance;’’ or either misunderstood or disregarded the concept of a policy statement in this application, for example, that a policy statement is ‘‘largely inadequate for purposes of establishing broad-reaching performance standards.’’ The remaining comments informed the NRC staff’s development of the final policy statement. These were grouped into the following themes: 1. The NRC should adopt the definition and traits developed during the February 2010, workshop. This theme encompassed additional comments indicating that retaining the term ‘‘security’’ in the definition and traits of a positive safety culture may be confusing to many licensees, particularly materials licensees. 2. The traits from the February 2010, workshop should be included in the Statement of Policy in order to provide additional clarity as to its intent. 3. More guidance is needed on the NRC’s expectations as to how the policy statement will be implemented. This encompassed the additional theme that stakeholders would like to be actively involved in the process of developing this guidance and that the continued use of workshops with the various licensees would be helpful. 4. A discussion should be included in the policy statement that addresses the diversity of the regulated community. Additionally, the Commission should acknowledge the efforts already underway as the regulated community addresses the Statement of Policy. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:27 Jun 13, 2011 Jkt 223001 5. How does the NRC plan to ‘‘enforce’’ adherence to the policy statement? 6. Comments on the draft policy statement were generally supportive of including vendors and suppliers of safety-related components in the Statement of Policy, but reflected concern about jurisdictional issues, as well as the impact that including vendors and suppliers in the Statement of Policy might have on licensees’ ability to work with these entities. 7. During its evaluation of the public comments on the draft safety culture policy statement, the staff felt that a trait addressing complacency should be added to the February 2010, workshop traits. Several months later, the results of an INPO study indicated that the trait ‘‘Questioning Attitude’’ had strong support with operating nuclear plant personnel. This trait resonated with the staff as an approach for addressing complacency for all regulated activities. At the September 2010, public meeting, as part of a larger presentation providing the results of the INPO validation study, the staff added a question about whether to include this trait. Additionally, the September 2010, FRN specifically asked whether complacency should be addressed in the Statement of Policy. Although the responses to this question varied, the staff concluded it should be considered in a positive safety culture and included the concept of complacency in the Statement of Policy under the trait, ‘‘Questioning Attitude.’’ ‘‘Questioning Attitude’’ is described in the final Statement of Policy as a culture ‘‘in which individuals avoid complacency and continuously challenge existing conditions and activities in order to identify discrepancies that might result in error or inappropriate action.’’ This policy statement is being issued after careful consideration of the staff’s evaluation of the public comments received on the November 2009, and September 2010, FRNs; the public meetings held in February 2009, and February, July, and September 2010; the views expressed by stakeholders during the Commission briefing in March 2010; and the informal dialogue with the various stakeholders during the staff’s additional outreach efforts from the February 2010, workshop until the second public comment period ended on October 18, 2010. The following paragraphs provide the specific information that was used in the development of the final policy statement, including the changes that were made to the November 2009, FRN: 1. The Statement of Policy adopts the February 2010, workshop definition and PO 00000 Frm 00138 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 traits of a positive safety culture. The term ‘‘security’’ is not included in either the definition or the traits. The Commission agrees that an overarching safety culture addresses both safety and security and does not need to single out ‘‘security’’ in the definition. However, to ensure that security is appropriately encompassed within the Statement of Policy, a preamble to the traits has been added and the robust discussion of security, including the importance of considering the interface of safety and security that was included in the draft Statement of Policy, has been retained in the Statement of Policy. 2. The Commission agrees that including the traits in the Statement of Policy will serve to clarify the intent of the policy. The draft policy statement published in the November 2009, FRN did not include the characteristics (now described as ‘‘traits’) in the actual Statement of Policy. The staff developed the draft characteristics based on a variety of sources, including the 13 safety culture components used in the ROP. The characteristics included significantly more detail than the traits included in the Statement of Policy. The staff’s basis for the original decision to include the characteristics in another section of the draft policy statement but not in the actual draft Statement of Policy was three-fold: first, it would keep the Statement of Policy brief and concise; second, it would maintain the Statement of Policy at a high level; and third, it would not invalidate the characteristics’ standing as part of the draft policy statement to place them in another section of the draft policy statement. The November 6, 2009, FRN that contained the draft policy statement specifically requested comments on whether the characteristics should be included in the Statement of Policy. Some commenters indicated that they would prefer not to include the traits in the actual Statement of Policy or that they agree with the original decision to include the traits in their own section of the policy statement. However, several commenters indicated that adding the traits to the Statement of Policy itself would help to clarify the Commission’s expectations. Because the traits in question were developed by the stakeholders at the February 2010, workshop to provide a high-level description of the areas important to a positive safety culture, the level of detail that was included in the draft characteristics is not present in the traits. Thus, even with inclusion of the traits, the Statement of Policy remains brief and concise; in addition, this approach provides high-level detail that E:\FR\FM\14JNN1.SGM 14JNN1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 114 / Tuesday, June 14, 2011 / Notices was not in the draft Statement of Policy. Including the traits in the Statement of Policy rather than as part of the policy statement visually supports their standing as part of the Commission’s expectation that these are areas that members of the regulated community should consider as they develop a positive safety culture. Finally, as the Statement of Policy points out, the list of traits was not developed for inspection purposes nor does it represent an all-inclusive list of areas important to a positive safety culture. 3. Implementation is not directly addressed in this policy statement, which sets forth the overarching principles of a positive safety culture. This discussion is not included because the Commission is aware of the diversity of its regulated community (which includes, for example, industrial radiography services; hospitals, clinics and individual practitioners involved in medical uses of radioactive materials; research and test reactors; large-scale fuel fabrication facilities; as well as operating nuclear power plants and the construction of new facilities where operations will involve radioactive materials with the potential to affect public health and safety and the common defense and security) and recognizes that implementation will be more complex in some settings than others. The NRC program offices responsible for licensing and oversight of the affected entities intend to work with their constituents, who bear the primary responsibility for safely handling and securing regulated materials, to address the next steps and specific implementation issues. Nevertheless, before implementation issues are addressed, the regulated community can begin assessing their activities to identify areas for enhancement. For example, industry representatives could begin to identify tacit organizational and personal goals that, at times, may compete with a safety-first focus and develop strategies for adjusting those goals. Some monetary incentive or other rewards programs could work against making a safe decision. Current training programs may not address safety culture and its traits or how those traits apply to dayto-day work activities. Identification of both strengths and weaknesses related to safety culture in the regulated community will be helpful in understanding implementation strategies. 4. The final Statement of Policy includes a statement that the Commission recognizes the diversity of the various organizations that are included in the Statement of Policy and VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:27 Jun 13, 2011 Jkt 223001 the fact that some organizations have already spent significant time and resources in the development of programs and policies to support a positive safety culture. The Commission will take these efforts into consideration as the regulated community addresses the Statement of Policy. 5. Because there seemed to be some questions about the Commission’s use of a policy statement rather than a regulation, the staff provided a brief discussion of the differences in the September 17, 2010, FRN, pointing out that policy statements, while not enforceable, guide the activities of the NRC staff and express the Commission’s expectations. The Commission reiterates the conclusion of the discussion provided in the September 2010, FRN that while the option to consider rulemaking exists, the Commission believes at this time, that developing a policy statement is a more effective way to engage stakeholders. 6. Vendors and suppliers of safetyrelated components have been included in this Statement of Policy. A few stakeholders have raised concerns about how implementation would be carried out, particularly in cases where vendors and suppliers are located outside of NRC jurisdiction. However, the Commission believes that vendors and suppliers of safety-related components should develop and maintain a positive safety culture in their organizations for the same reasons that other NRCregulated entities should do so. 7. The final Statement of Policy adds the trait ‘‘Questioning Attitude’’ to the traits developed at the February 2010, workshop as an appropriate vehicle for addressing complacency. III. Statement of Policy The purpose of this Statement of Policy is to set forth the Commission’s expectation that individuals and organizations establish and maintain a positive safety culture commensurate with the safety and security significance of their activities and the nature and complexity of their organizations and functions. This includes all licensees, certificate holders, permit holders, authorization holders, holders of quality assurance program approvals, vendors and suppliers of safety-related components, and applicants for a license, certificate, permit, authorization, or quality assurance program approval, subject to NRC authority. The Commission encourages the Agreement States, Agreement State licensees and other organizations interested in nuclear safety to support the development and maintenance of a PO 00000 Frm 00139 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 34777 positive safety culture, as articulated in this Statement of Policy. Nuclear Safety Culture is defined as the core values and behaviors resulting from a collective commitment by leaders and individuals to emphasize safety over competing goals to ensure protection of people and the environment. Individuals and organizations performing regulated activities bear the primary responsibility for safety and security. The performance of individuals and organizations can be monitored and trended and, therefore, may be used to determine compliance with requirements and commitments and may serve as an indicator of possible problem areas in an organization’s safety culture. The NRC will not monitor or trend values. These will be the organization’s responsibility as part of its safety culture program. Organizations should ensure that personnel in the safety and security sectors have an appreciation for the importance of each, emphasizing the need for integration and balance to achieve both safety and security in their activities. Safety and security activities are closely intertwined. While many safety and security activities complement each other, there may be instances in which safety and security interests create competing goals. It is important that consideration of these activities be integrated so as not to diminish or adversely affect either; thus, mechanisms should be established to identify and resolve these differences. A safety culture that accomplishes this would include all nuclear safety and security issues associated with NRCregulated activities. Experience has shown that certain personal and organizational traits are present in a positive safety culture. A trait, in this case, is a pattern of thinking, feeling, and behaving that emphasizes safety, particularly in goal conflict situations, e.g., production, schedule, and the cost of the effort versus safety. It should be noted that although the term ‘‘security’’ is not expressly included in the following traits, safety and security are the primary pillars of the NRC’s regulatory mission. Consequently, consideration of both safety and security issues, commensurate with their significance, is an underlying principle of this Statement of Policy. The following are traits of a positive safety culture: (1) Leadership Safety Values and Actions—Leaders demonstrate a commitment to safety in their decisions and behaviors; (2) Problem Identification and Resolution—Issues potentially E:\FR\FM\14JNN1.SGM 14JNN1 34778 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 114 / Tuesday, June 14, 2011 / Notices srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES impacting safety are promptly identified, fully evaluated, and promptly addressed and corrected commensurate with their significance; (3) Personal Accountability—All individuals take personal responsibility for safety; (4) Work Processes—The process of planning and controlling work activities is implemented so that safety is maintained; (5) Continuous Learning— Opportunities to learn about ways to ensure safety are sought out and implemented; (6) Environment for Raising Concerns—A safety conscious work environment is maintained where personnel feel free to raise safety concerns without fear of retaliation, intimidation, harassment, or discrimination; (7) Effective Safety Communication— Communications maintain a focus on safety; (8) Respectful Work Environment— Trust and respect permeate the organization; and (9) Questioning Attitude—Individuals avoid complacency and continuously challenge existing conditions and activities in order to identify discrepancies that might result in error or inappropriate action. There may be traits not included in this Statement of Policy that are also important in a positive safety culture. It should be noted that these traits were not developed to be used for inspection purposes. It is the Commission’s expectation that all individuals and organizations, performing or overseeing regulated activities involving nuclear materials, should take the necessary steps to promote a positive safety culture by fostering these traits as they apply to their organizational environments. The Commission recognizes the diversity of these organizations and acknowledges that some organizations have already spent significant time and resources in the development of a positive safety culture. The Commission will take this into consideration as the regulated community addresses the Statement of Policy. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 8th day of June 2011. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission. [FR Doc. 2011–14656 Filed 6–13–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:27 Jun 13, 2011 Jkt 223001 NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on Fukushima; Notice of Meeting The ACRS Subcommittee on Fukushima will hold a meeting on June 23, 2011, Room T–2B1, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. The entire meeting will be open to public attendance. The agenda for the subject meeting shall be as follows: Thursday, June 23, 2011—1 p.m. until 5 p.m. The Subcommittee will review recent events at the Fukushima site in Japan. The Subcommittee will hear presentations by and hold discussions with the NRC staff and other interested persons regarding this matter. The Subcommittee will gather information, analyze relevant issues and facts, and formulate proposed positions and actions, as appropriate, for deliberation by the Full Committee. Members of the public desiring to provide oral statements and/or written comments should notify the Designated Federal Official (DFO), Mr. Edwin M. Hackett (Telephone 301–415–7360 or Email: Edwin.Hackett@nrc.gov) five days prior to the meeting, if possible, so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Thirty-five hard copies of each presentation or handout should be provided to the DFO thirty minutes before the meeting. In addition, one electronic copy of each presentation should be e-mailed to the DFO one day before the meeting. If an electronic copy cannot be provided within this timeframe, presenters should provide the DFO with a CD containing each presentation at least thirty minutes before the meeting. Electronic recordings will be permitted only during those portions of the meeting that are open to the public. Detailed procedures for the conduct of and participation in ACRS meetings were published in the Federal Register on October 21, 2010, (75 FR 65038–65039). Detailed meeting agendas and meeting transcripts are available on the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/readingrm/doc-collections/acrs. Information regarding topics to be discussed, changes to the agenda, whether the meeting has been canceled or rescheduled, and the time allotted to present oral statements can be obtained from the Web site cited above or by contacting the identified DFO. Moreover, in view of the possibility that PO 00000 Frm 00140 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the schedule for ACRS meetings may be adjusted by the Chairman as necessary to facilitate the conduct of the meeting, persons planning to attend should check with these references if such rescheduling would result in a major inconvenience. If attending this meeting, please contact Ms. Jessie Delgado (Telephone 301–415–7360) to be escorted to the meeting room. Dated: June 6, 2011. Yoira Diaz-Sanabria, Acting Chief, Reactor Safety Branch A, Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2011–14655 Filed 6–13–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS), Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on Materials, Metallurgy & Reactor Fuels; Notice of Meeting The ACRS Subcommittee on Materials, Metallurgy & Reactor Fuels will hold a meeting on June 23, 2011, Room T–2B3, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. The entire meeting will be open to public attendance. The agenda for the subject meeting shall be as follows: Thursday, June 23, 2011–8:30 a.m. until 12 p.m. The Subcommittee will review the expanded technical basis for 50.46(c) and the research results of the mechanical behavior of ballooned and ruptured cladding. A draft document entitled, ‘‘Mechanical Behavior of Ballooned and Ruptured Cladding,’’ has been made publicly available to provide awareness to the public regarding the staff’s position, so they can effectively participate in the ACRS meeting. The NRC is not soliciting comments at this time. This draft document may be incomplete or in error in one or more respects and may be subject to further revision during the review process. The Adams accession number is ML111370032. The Subcommittee will hear presentations by and hold discussions with the NRC staff and other interested persons regarding this matter. The Subcommittee will gather information, analyze relevant issues and facts, and formulate proposed positions and actions, as appropriate, for deliberation by the Full Committee. Members of the public desiring to provide oral statements and/or written comments should notify the Designated Federal Official (DFO), Christopher E:\FR\FM\14JNN1.SGM 14JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 114 (Tuesday, June 14, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 34773-34778]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-14656]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2010-0282]


Final Safety Culture Policy Statement

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Issuance of final safety culture policy statement.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) 
is issuing this Statement of Policy to set forth its expectation that 
individuals and organizations performing or overseeing regulated 
activities establish and maintain a positive safety culture 
commensurate with the safety and security significance of their 
activities and the nature and complexity of their organizations and 
functions. The Commission defines Nuclear Safety Culture as the core 
values and behaviors resulting from a collective commitment by leaders 
and individuals to emphasize safety over competing goals to ensure 
protection of people and the environment. This policy statement applies 
to all licensees, certificate holders, permit holders, authorization 
holders, holders of quality assurance program approvals, vendors and 
suppliers of safety-related components, and applicants for a license, 
certificate, permit, authorization, or quality assurance program 
approval, subject to NRC authority.

DATES: This policy statement becomes effective upon publication in the 
Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: You can access publicly available documents related to this 
document using the following methods:
     NRC's Public Document Room (PDR): The public may examine 
and have copied, for a fee, publicly available documents at the NRC's 
PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, 
Rockville, Maryland 20852.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC 
are

[[Page 34774]]

available online in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. From this page, the public can gain entry into ADAMS, which 
provides text and image files of the NRC's public documents. If you do 
not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the 
documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC's PDR reference staff at 1-
800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to pdr.resource@nrc.gov.
     Federal rulemaking Web site: Public comments and 
supporting materials related to this document can be found at http://www.regulations.gov by searching on Docket ID NRC-2010-0282. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher, telephone: 301-492-
3668; e-mail: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Roy P. Zimmerman, Director, Office of 
Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001; telephone: 301-415-2741; e-mail: Roy.Zimmerman@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

A. Previous Policy Statements and Events Involving Safety Culture

    The NRC has long recognized the importance of a safety-first focus 
in nuclear work environments for public health and safety. The 
Commission's emphasis on a safety-first focus is reflected in two 
previously published NRC policy statements. The 1989, ``Policy 
Statement on the Conduct of Nuclear Power Plant Operations'' (54 FR 
3424; January 24, 1989), applies to all individuals engaged in 
activities that affect the safety of nuclear power plants, and provides 
the Commission's expectations of utility management and licensed 
operators with respect to the conduct of operations. The 1996, 
``Freedom of Employees in the Nuclear Industry to Raise Safety Concerns 
Without Fear of Retaliation'' (61 FR 24336; May 14, 1996), applies to 
the regulated activities of all NRC licensees and their contractors and 
subcontractors, and provides the Commission's expectations that 
licensees and other employers subject to NRC authority establish and 
maintain safety-conscious work environments in which employees feel 
free to raise safety concerns, both to their management and to the NRC, 
without fear of retaliation. This Safety Culture Statement of Policy, 
in conjunction with the previous policy statements, is intended to 
emphasize the importance the NRC places on the development and 
maintenance of a positive safety culture for all regulated activities.
    The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986, brought 
attention to the importance of safety culture and the impact that 
weaknesses in safety culture can have on safety performance. Since 
then, the importance of a positive safety culture has been demonstrated 
by a number of significant, high-visibility events worldwide. In the 
United States, incidents involving the civilian uses of radioactive 
materials have not been confined to a particular type of licensee or 
certificate holder, as they have occurred at nuclear power plants and 
fuel cycle facilities and during medical and industrial activities 
involving regulated materials. Assessments of these incidents revealed 
that weaknesses in the regulated entities' safety cultures were an 
underlying cause of the incidents or increased the severity of the 
incidents. The causes of these incidents included, for example, 
inadequate management oversight of process changes, perceived 
production pressures, lack of a questioning attitude, and poor 
communications. One such incident indicated the need for additional NRC 
efforts to evaluate whether the agency should increase its attention to 
reactor licensees' safety cultures. This resulted in important changes 
to the NRC's Reactor Oversight Process (ROP). Commission paper SECY-06-
0122, dated May 24, 2006, (ADAMS Accession No. ML061320282) describes 
the NRC's safety culture activities at that time and the outcomes of 
those activities.
    Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the 
Commission issued orders enhancing security at facilities whose 
operations, if attacked, could have an impact on public health and 
safety. During the early years of implementation of these security 
enhancements, several violations of the Commission's security 
requirements were identified in which the licensee's failure to 
cultivate a positive safety culture impacted the effectiveness of the 
licensee's security program. The most visible of these involved 
security officers sleeping in a ``ready room'' while on shift at a 
nuclear power plant. Most of the weaknesses involved inadequate 
management oversight of security, lack of a questioning attitude within 
the security organization, complacency, barriers to raising concerns 
about security issues, and inadequate training of security personnel.

B. Commission Direction

    In February 2008, the Commission issued Staff Requirements 
Memorandum (SRM), SRM-COMGBJ-08-0001 (ADAMS Accession No. ML080560476), 
directing the NRC staff to expand the Commission's policy on safety 
culture to address the unique aspects of security and to ensure the 
resulting policy is applicable to all licensees and certificate 
holders. The Commission directed the staff to answer several additional 
questions, including: (1) Whether safety culture as applied to reactors 
needed to be strengthened; (2) how to increase attention to safety 
culture in the materials area; (3) how stakeholder involvement can most 
effectively be used to address safety culture for all NRC and Agreement 
State licensees and certificate holders, including any unique aspects 
of security; and (4) whether publishing the NRC's expectations for 
safety culture and for security culture would be best accomplished in 
one safety/security culture statement or in two separate statements 
while still considering the safety and security interfaces.
    In response to Commission direction, the NRC staff reviewed 
domestic and international safety-culture-related documents and 
considered NRC lessons learned. Additionally, the staff sought insights 
and feedback from external stakeholders. This was accomplished by 
providing information in a variety of forums, such as stakeholder 
organization meetings, newsletters, and teleconferences, and by 
publishing questions developed to address Commission direction in the 
February 9, 2009, Federal Register notice (FRN) (74 FR 6433) entitled 
``Safety Culture Policy Statement Development: Public Meeting and 
Request for Public Comments'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML090260709).
    In February 2009, the NRC held a public workshop on the 
``Development of a Policy Statement on Safety Culture and Security 
Culture'' in which a broad range of stakeholders participated, 
including representatives from the Agreement States (Meeting Summary: 
ADAMS Accession No. ML090930572). The staff developed draft 
characteristics (subsequently referred to as ``traits'') of a positive 
safety culture and presented them at the workshop. Mindful of the 
increased attention to the important role of security, the staff also 
sought input from the workshop participants on whether there should be 
a single safety culture policy statement or two policy statements 
addressing safety and security independently while considering the 
interface of both. Before providing its recommendations to the 
Commission, the staff developed a draft definition of safety culture in 
which it modified a definition from the International Atomic Energy 
Agency's

[[Page 34775]]

advisory group, the International Nuclear Safety Group, to make it 
applicable to all NRC-regulated activities and to address security.
    Based on its review and stakeholder feedback, in SECY-09-0075, 
``Safety Culture Policy Statement,'' dated May 16, 2009 (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML091130068), the NRC staff provided a single draft 
safety culture policy statement for Commission approval. The draft 
policy statement acknowledged the importance of safety and security, 
and the interface of both, within an overarching culture of safety. 
Additionally, in response to the Commission's questions, the staff: (1) 
Concluded that the NRC's oversight of safety culture as applied to 
reactors has been strengthened, is effective, and continues to be 
refined in accordance with the existing ROP self-assessment process; 
(2) described actions taken and planned for increasing attention to 
safety culture in the materials area; and (3) described actions taken 
and planned for most effectively obtaining stakeholder involvement to 
address safety culture, including any unique aspects of security, for 
all NRC and Agreement State licensees and certificate holders.
    In SRM-SECY-09-0075 (ADAMS Accession No. ML092920099), the 
Commission directed the staff to: (1) Publish the draft safety culture 
policy statement for no fewer than 90 days; (2) continue to engage a 
broad range of stakeholders, including the Agreement States and other 
organizations with an interest in nuclear safety, to ensure the final 
policy statement presented to the Commission reflects a broad spectrum 
of views and provides the necessary foundation for safety culture 
applicable to the entire nuclear industry; (3) make the necessary 
adjustments to encompass security within the statement; (4) seek 
opportunities to comport NRC terminology, where possible, with that of 
existing standards and references maintained by those that the NRC 
regulates; and (5) consider incorporating suppliers and vendors of 
safety-related components in the safety culture policy statement.

C. Development of the Final Policy Statement

    On February 2-4, 2010, the NRC held a second safety culture 
workshop to provide a venue for interested parties to comment on the 
draft safety culture policy statement. The additional goal of the 
workshop was for panelists representing a broad range of stakeholders 
to reach alignment, using common terminology, on a definition of safety 
culture and a high-level set of traits that describe areas important to 
a positive safety culture. The workshop panelists represented a wide 
range of stakeholders regulated by the NRC and/or the Agreement States, 
including medical, industrial, and fuel cycle materials users, and 
nuclear power reactor licensees, as well as the Nuclear Energy 
Institute, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), and 
members of the public. The workshop panelists reached alignment with 
input from the other meeting attendees on a definition of safety 
culture and a high-level set of traits describing areas important to a 
positive safety culture.
    Following the February 2010, workshop, the NRC staff evaluated the 
public comments that were submitted in response to the November 6, 
2009, FRN (74 FR 57525). Additionally, the staff participated on panels 
and made presentations at various industry forums in order to provide 
information to stakeholders about the development of the safety culture 
policy statement and/or to obtain additional input and to ascertain 
whether the definition and traits developed at the workshop accurately 
reflect a broad range of stakeholders' views. These outreach activities 
included, for example, participation in a Special Joint Session on 
Safety Culture at the Health Physics Society Annual Meeting, and 
presentations on the development of the safety culture policy statement 
at the Annual Fuel Cycle Information Exchange, the Conference of 
Radiation Control Program Directors' Annual National Conference on 
Radiation Control, the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management's 
Annual Meeting, the Second NRC Workshop on Vendor Oversight for New 
Reactors, and the Organization of Agreement States Annual Meeting. In 
response to Commission direction in SRM-SECY-09-00075, the staff 
focused attention on attending meetings involving the Organization of 
Agreement States and other materials licensees.
    In July 2010, the NRC held a public teleconference with the 
panelists who participated in the February 2010, workshop to discuss 
the status of outreach activities associated with the development of 
the policy statement. At the July 2010, meeting, the panelists 
reiterated their support for the definition and traits developed at the 
February 2010, workshop as a result of their outreach with their 
industry colleagues. This position aligns with the comments the staff 
received during the various outreach activities. In September 2010, the 
staff held an additional teleconference to provide information on the 
initial results of a validation study conducted by INPO, which was 
conducted, in part, to see whether and to what extent the factors that 
came out of INPO's safety culture survey support the February 2010, 
workshop traits. The factors support the traits developed at the 
workshop.
    Based on its review and stakeholder feedback, the staff published 
the revised draft safety culture policy statement (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML102500563) on September 17, 2010 (75 FR 57081), for a 30-day public 
comment period. Because public comments reflected some misunderstanding 
regarding the Commission's use of a policy statement rather than a 
regulation or rule, the September 2010, FRN provided clarification, 
pointing out that the Commission may use a policy statement to address 
matters relating to activities that are within NRC jurisdiction and are 
of particular interest and importance to the Commission. Policy 
statements help to guide the activities of the NRC staff and can 
express the Commission's expectations of others; however, they are not 
regulations or rules and are not accorded the status of a regulation or 
rule within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act. The 
Agreement States, which are responsible for overseeing their materials 
licensees, cannot be required to implement the elements of a policy 
statement because such statements, unlike NRC regulations, are not a 
matter of compatibility. Additionally, policy statements cannot be 
considered binding upon, or enforceable against, NRC or Agreement State 
licensees and certificate holders.
    This Statement of Policy has been developed to engage individuals 
and organizations performing regulated activities involving nuclear 
materials and share the Commission's expectations regarding the 
development and maintenance of a positive safety culture.
    The NRC held a public meeting in September 2010, in the Las Vegas 
Hearing Facility, Las Vegas, Nevada, which was simultaneously broadcast 
in the Commission Hearing Room, Rockville, Maryland, and over the 
internet via Web streaming in order to allow remote participation. The 
goals of the September 2010, FRN and meeting were to provide additional 
opportunities for stakeholders to comment on the revised draft policy 
statement, including the definition and traits developed at the 
February 2010, workshop, and to discuss the information gathered from 
the outreach activities that had occurred since the February 2010, 
workshop. Additionally, a representative from INPO presented

[[Page 34776]]

information on the validation study INPO conducted as part of INPO's 
efforts to help establish a technical basis for the identification and 
definition of areas important to safety culture. A member of the Office 
of Nuclear Regulatory Research also presented findings related to the 
oversight of the INPO study.

II. Public Comments

    The November 2009, FRN and the September 2010, FRN generated 76 
comments from affected stakeholders and members of the public. The 
staff's evaluation concluded that many of the comments were statements 
of agreement on the information included in the draft and revised 
safety culture policy statements and did not require further action. A 
few of the commenters raised issues that the staff considered during 
the development of the policy statement, but ultimately concluded that 
the issues were either not applicable to the policy statement, for 
example, that ``by virtue of its all encompassing applicability, the 
policy must be taken as a strategic utterance;'' or either 
misunderstood or disregarded the concept of a policy statement in this 
application, for example, that a policy statement is ``largely 
inadequate for purposes of establishing broad-reaching performance 
standards.'' The remaining comments informed the NRC staff's 
development of the final policy statement. These were grouped into the 
following themes:
    1. The NRC should adopt the definition and traits developed during 
the February 2010, workshop. This theme encompassed additional comments 
indicating that retaining the term ``security'' in the definition and 
traits of a positive safety culture may be confusing to many licensees, 
particularly materials licensees.
    2. The traits from the February 2010, workshop should be included 
in the Statement of Policy in order to provide additional clarity as to 
its intent.
    3. More guidance is needed on the NRC's expectations as to how the 
policy statement will be implemented. This encompassed the additional 
theme that stakeholders would like to be actively involved in the 
process of developing this guidance and that the continued use of 
workshops with the various licensees would be helpful.
    4. A discussion should be included in the policy statement that 
addresses the diversity of the regulated community. Additionally, the 
Commission should acknowledge the efforts already underway as the 
regulated community addresses the Statement of Policy.
    5. How does the NRC plan to ``enforce'' adherence to the policy 
statement?
    6. Comments on the draft policy statement were generally supportive 
of including vendors and suppliers of safety-related components in the 
Statement of Policy, but reflected concern about jurisdictional issues, 
as well as the impact that including vendors and suppliers in the 
Statement of Policy might have on licensees' ability to work with these 
entities.
    7. During its evaluation of the public comments on the draft safety 
culture policy statement, the staff felt that a trait addressing 
complacency should be added to the February 2010, workshop traits. 
Several months later, the results of an INPO study indicated that the 
trait ``Questioning Attitude'' had strong support with operating 
nuclear plant personnel. This trait resonated with the staff as an 
approach for addressing complacency for all regulated activities. At 
the September 2010, public meeting, as part of a larger presentation 
providing the results of the INPO validation study, the staff added a 
question about whether to include this trait. Additionally, the 
September 2010, FRN specifically asked whether complacency should be 
addressed in the Statement of Policy. Although the responses to this 
question varied, the staff concluded it should be considered in a 
positive safety culture and included the concept of complacency in the 
Statement of Policy under the trait, ``Questioning Attitude.'' 
``Questioning Attitude'' is described in the final Statement of Policy 
as a culture ``in which individuals avoid complacency and continuously 
challenge existing conditions and activities in order to identify 
discrepancies that might result in error or inappropriate action.''
    This policy statement is being issued after careful consideration 
of the staff's evaluation of the public comments received on the 
November 2009, and September 2010, FRNs; the public meetings held in 
February 2009, and February, July, and September 2010; the views 
expressed by stakeholders during the Commission briefing in March 2010; 
and the informal dialogue with the various stakeholders during the 
staff's additional outreach efforts from the February 2010, workshop 
until the second public comment period ended on October 18, 2010.
    The following paragraphs provide the specific information that was 
used in the development of the final policy statement, including the 
changes that were made to the November 2009, FRN:
    1. The Statement of Policy adopts the February 2010, workshop 
definition and traits of a positive safety culture. The term 
``security'' is not included in either the definition or the traits. 
The Commission agrees that an overarching safety culture addresses both 
safety and security and does not need to single out ``security'' in the 
definition. However, to ensure that security is appropriately 
encompassed within the Statement of Policy, a preamble to the traits 
has been added and the robust discussion of security, including the 
importance of considering the interface of safety and security that was 
included in the draft Statement of Policy, has been retained in the 
Statement of Policy.
    2. The Commission agrees that including the traits in the Statement 
of Policy will serve to clarify the intent of the policy. The draft 
policy statement published in the November 2009, FRN did not include 
the characteristics (now described as ``traits') in the actual 
Statement of Policy. The staff developed the draft characteristics 
based on a variety of sources, including the 13 safety culture 
components used in the ROP. The characteristics included significantly 
more detail than the traits included in the Statement of Policy. The 
staff's basis for the original decision to include the characteristics 
in another section of the draft policy statement but not in the actual 
draft Statement of Policy was three-fold: first, it would keep the 
Statement of Policy brief and concise; second, it would maintain the 
Statement of Policy at a high level; and third, it would not invalidate 
the characteristics' standing as part of the draft policy statement to 
place them in another section of the draft policy statement. The 
November 6, 2009, FRN that contained the draft policy statement 
specifically requested comments on whether the characteristics should 
be included in the Statement of Policy. Some commenters indicated that 
they would prefer not to include the traits in the actual Statement of 
Policy or that they agree with the original decision to include the 
traits in their own section of the policy statement. However, several 
commenters indicated that adding the traits to the Statement of Policy 
itself would help to clarify the Commission's expectations. Because the 
traits in question were developed by the stakeholders at the February 
2010, workshop to provide a high-level description of the areas 
important to a positive safety culture, the level of detail that was 
included in the draft characteristics is not present in the traits. 
Thus, even with inclusion of the traits, the Statement of Policy 
remains brief and concise; in addition, this approach provides high-
level detail that

[[Page 34777]]

was not in the draft Statement of Policy. Including the traits in the 
Statement of Policy rather than as part of the policy statement 
visually supports their standing as part of the Commission's 
expectation that these are areas that members of the regulated 
community should consider as they develop a positive safety culture. 
Finally, as the Statement of Policy points out, the list of traits was 
not developed for inspection purposes nor does it represent an all-
inclusive list of areas important to a positive safety culture.
    3. Implementation is not directly addressed in this policy 
statement, which sets forth the overarching principles of a positive 
safety culture. This discussion is not included because the Commission 
is aware of the diversity of its regulated community (which includes, 
for example, industrial radiography services; hospitals, clinics and 
individual practitioners involved in medical uses of radioactive 
materials; research and test reactors; large-scale fuel fabrication 
facilities; as well as operating nuclear power plants and the 
construction of new facilities where operations will involve 
radioactive materials with the potential to affect public health and 
safety and the common defense and security) and recognizes that 
implementation will be more complex in some settings than others. The 
NRC program offices responsible for licensing and oversight of the 
affected entities intend to work with their constituents, who bear the 
primary responsibility for safely handling and securing regulated 
materials, to address the next steps and specific implementation 
issues. Nevertheless, before implementation issues are addressed, the 
regulated community can begin assessing their activities to identify 
areas for enhancement. For example, industry representatives could 
begin to identify tacit organizational and personal goals that, at 
times, may compete with a safety-first focus and develop strategies for 
adjusting those goals. Some monetary incentive or other rewards 
programs could work against making a safe decision. Current training 
programs may not address safety culture and its traits or how those 
traits apply to day-to-day work activities. Identification of both 
strengths and weaknesses related to safety culture in the regulated 
community will be helpful in understanding implementation strategies.
    4. The final Statement of Policy includes a statement that the 
Commission recognizes the diversity of the various organizations that 
are included in the Statement of Policy and the fact that some 
organizations have already spent significant time and resources in the 
development of programs and policies to support a positive safety 
culture. The Commission will take these efforts into consideration as 
the regulated community addresses the Statement of Policy.
    5. Because there seemed to be some questions about the Commission's 
use of a policy statement rather than a regulation, the staff provided 
a brief discussion of the differences in the September 17, 2010, FRN, 
pointing out that policy statements, while not enforceable, guide the 
activities of the NRC staff and express the Commission's expectations. 
The Commission reiterates the conclusion of the discussion provided in 
the September 2010, FRN that while the option to consider rulemaking 
exists, the Commission believes at this time, that developing a policy 
statement is a more effective way to engage stakeholders.
    6. Vendors and suppliers of safety-related components have been 
included in this Statement of Policy. A few stakeholders have raised 
concerns about how implementation would be carried out, particularly in 
cases where vendors and suppliers are located outside of NRC 
jurisdiction. However, the Commission believes that vendors and 
suppliers of safety-related components should develop and maintain a 
positive safety culture in their organizations for the same reasons 
that other NRC-regulated entities should do so.
    7. The final Statement of Policy adds the trait ``Questioning 
Attitude'' to the traits developed at the February 2010, workshop as an 
appropriate vehicle for addressing complacency.

III. Statement of Policy

    The purpose of this Statement of Policy is to set forth the 
Commission's expectation that individuals and organizations establish 
and maintain a positive safety culture commensurate with the safety and 
security significance of their activities and the nature and complexity 
of their organizations and functions. This includes all licensees, 
certificate holders, permit holders, authorization holders, holders of 
quality assurance program approvals, vendors and suppliers of safety-
related components, and applicants for a license, certificate, permit, 
authorization, or quality assurance program approval, subject to NRC 
authority. The Commission encourages the Agreement States, Agreement 
State licensees and other organizations interested in nuclear safety to 
support the development and maintenance of a positive safety culture, 
as articulated in this Statement of Policy.
    Nuclear Safety Culture is defined as the core values and behaviors 
resulting from a collective commitment by leaders and individuals to 
emphasize safety over competing goals to ensure protection of people 
and the environment. Individuals and organizations performing regulated 
activities bear the primary responsibility for safety and security. The 
performance of individuals and organizations can be monitored and 
trended and, therefore, may be used to determine compliance with 
requirements and commitments and may serve as an indicator of possible 
problem areas in an organization's safety culture. The NRC will not 
monitor or trend values. These will be the organization's 
responsibility as part of its safety culture program.
    Organizations should ensure that personnel in the safety and 
security sectors have an appreciation for the importance of each, 
emphasizing the need for integration and balance to achieve both safety 
and security in their activities. Safety and security activities are 
closely intertwined. While many safety and security activities 
complement each other, there may be instances in which safety and 
security interests create competing goals. It is important that 
consideration of these activities be integrated so as not to diminish 
or adversely affect either; thus, mechanisms should be established to 
identify and resolve these differences. A safety culture that 
accomplishes this would include all nuclear safety and security issues 
associated with NRC-regulated activities.
    Experience has shown that certain personal and organizational 
traits are present in a positive safety culture. A trait, in this case, 
is a pattern of thinking, feeling, and behaving that emphasizes safety, 
particularly in goal conflict situations, e.g., production, schedule, 
and the cost of the effort versus safety. It should be noted that 
although the term ``security'' is not expressly included in the 
following traits, safety and security are the primary pillars of the 
NRC's regulatory mission. Consequently, consideration of both safety 
and security issues, commensurate with their significance, is an 
underlying principle of this Statement of Policy.
    The following are traits of a positive safety culture:
    (1) Leadership Safety Values and Actions--Leaders demonstrate a 
commitment to safety in their decisions and behaviors;
    (2) Problem Identification and Resolution--Issues potentially

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impacting safety are promptly identified, fully evaluated, and promptly 
addressed and corrected commensurate with their significance;
    (3) Personal Accountability--All individuals take personal 
responsibility for safety;
    (4) Work Processes--The process of planning and controlling work 
activities is implemented so that safety is maintained;
    (5) Continuous Learning--Opportunities to learn about ways to 
ensure safety are sought out and implemented;
    (6) Environment for Raising Concerns--A safety conscious work 
environment is maintained where personnel feel free to raise safety 
concerns without fear of retaliation, intimidation, harassment, or 
discrimination;
    (7) Effective Safety Communication--Communications maintain a focus 
on safety;
    (8) Respectful Work Environment--Trust and respect permeate the 
organization; and
    (9) Questioning Attitude--Individuals avoid complacency and 
continuously challenge existing conditions and activities in order to 
identify discrepancies that might result in error or inappropriate 
action.
    There may be traits not included in this Statement of Policy that 
are also important in a positive safety culture. It should be noted 
that these traits were not developed to be used for inspection 
purposes.
    It is the Commission's expectation that all individuals and 
organizations, performing or overseeing regulated activities involving 
nuclear materials, should take the necessary steps to promote a 
positive safety culture by fostering these traits as they apply to 
their organizational environments. The Commission recognizes the 
diversity of these organizations and acknowledges that some 
organizations have already spent significant time and resources in the 
development of a positive safety culture. The Commission will take this 
into consideration as the regulated community addresses the Statement 
of Policy.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 8th day of June 2011.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Annette L. Vietti-Cook,
Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 2011-14656 Filed 6-13-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P